Srimad Bhagavatam 11.09.16 - Seeing Krishna in this World (download mp3)
by Radheshlal Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
eko narayano devah
kalpanta idam isvarah
eka evadvitiyo ’bhud
The Lord of the universe, Narayana, is the worshipable God of all living entities. Without extraneous assistance, the Lord creates this universe by His own potency, and at the time of annihilation the Lord destroys the universe through His personal expansion of time and withdraws all of the cosmos, including all the conditioned living entities, within Himself. Thus, His unlimited Self is the shelter and reservoir of all potencies. The subtle pradhana, the basis of all cosmic manifestation, is conserved within the Lord and is in this way not different from Him. In the aftermath of annihilation the Lord stands alone.
As will be explained in verse 21 of this chapter, the Lord’s independent creation and annihilation of the universe can be compared to the spider’s creating and withdrawing his web. The word eka, or “one alone,” is mentioned twice in this verse to emphasize that there is only one Supreme Personality of Godhead and that all universal affairs, as well as spiritual pastimes, are conducted by His potency alone. According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, this verse refers to Karanarnavasayi Visnu, or Maha-Visnu lying in the Causal Ocean. The words atmadhara and akhilasraya both indicate that Narayana is the reservoir or shelter of all existence. Atmadhara indicates that the Lord’s personal body is the shelter of everything. Maha-Visnu is a plenary portion of Lord Krsna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whose body expand the innumerable potencies that manifest the material and spiritual worlds. According to the Brahma-samhita these innumerable worlds rest within the brahmajyoti, or spiritual effulgence, also emanating from the Lord’s body. Thus Krsna is isvara, the supreme controller.